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Issues at the City, County, and Metropolitan Levels, and in US Territories

CA, Los Angeles – The Los Angeles City Council has passed a moratorium on issuing new breeder permits until the shelter population levels reach a 75 percent capacity.  AKC expressed significant concerns with the proposal, and continues to ask that current law be properly enforced so that those obtaining intact animal permits and are not breeding may continue to own intact dogs.  Read AKC’s latest alert for more information.

CT, New Haven – In 2018, the city proposed and adopted new dangerous dog, breeding license and litter permit regulations. AKC submitted requested changes and met with the Mayor and General Counsel to discuss the changes. The election of a new mayor and the pandemic delayed review of AKC’s requested changes. In late 2023, AKC appeared before the city’s legislative committee to highlight 2023 changes to Connecticut law necessitating change and to revisit the changes previously requested. A draft in response is pending.

GA, DeKalb County – An ordinance proposed in DeKalb County seeks to require owners of female intact companion animals to obtain a litter permit prior to the birth of a litter or within one week after the litter’s birth. The female intact animals must also be microchipped or have other permanent identification before a permit would be issued. The proposal seeks to a limit to the number of litter permits issued per household during any consecutive 12-month period (number of litters not yet determined in the ordinance as it appears in the commission agenda), and would prohibit breeding to one litter per female animal in any consecutive 12-month period. The proposal would also provide for conditions for sale of offspring, one-week-post-sale consumer protection provisions, and litter permit advertising requirements. Puppies and kittens would not be permitted to be sold to a pet store, animal broker, or other animal dealer.

GA, Forsyth County – Members of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners continue to consider significant changes to the county animal ordinance, including licensing and registration requirements for breeders and for individuals who sell/transfer just two dogs or cats. View AKC’s most recent alert. The Georgia Canine Coalition and other stakeholders are working to ensure that dog breeder provisions are reasonable, enforceable, and consistent with state requirements. Comments and recommended alternate language were offered to commissioners in January.

IL, Springfield – The Springfield City Council considered a proposal on March 27 that would have required anyone who breeds and sells one dog to obtain a $100 annual permit.  AKC issued an alert and local clubs expressed concerns with the proposal and the claim that it was because of breeders that the local shelter is having population concerns.  The city agreed to temporarily table the ordinance and work with the county, who manage the shelter, before advancing on any measure.  Read more.

MA, Barnstable – The town is updating its dog and kennel licenses and held a public hearing in late 2023. The proposal would establish a new “multiple dog licenses” category for a private residence maintaining four to six dogs or for breeding dogs for show or sport that sells dogs from two or less litters per year, in lieu of obtaining a kennel license. In order to obtain a kennel license, applicants would need to secure site plan review and zoning board approval because they would be treated as commercial use. AKC and a resident AKC breeder met with town officials in November to discuss concerns. AKC provided suggested edits and issued an alert. The town adopted AKC’s edits and others relating to dogs’ beach access before posting a re-draft earlier this year. Details are here.

SC, Columbia and surrounding counties – News stories report discussion of mandatory spay/neuter requirements for pets in the city of Columbia and in Lexington and Richmond Counties. AKC GR contacted local kennel club officers and recommended scheduling a stakeholders’ meeting by video conference.

TX, Houston – Houston Mayor John Whitmire recently discussed his belief that a mandatory spay/neuter law will address shelter population issues and stray animal issues. He implied there may be a future ordinance. AKC sent letters to the Houston City Council and Mayor opposing the development of an ordinance. No ordinance has been introduced thus far.